Gene Expression

Archives for August, 2009

Mike the Mad Biologist points out that Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota and New Hampshire do better on math scores for elementary age students than most of Europe, and are competitive with Asia. Here are Mike’s factors for why this might be: -Low child poverty rates as measured by school lunch subsidies (a common proxy for…

Quest for Antarctica

Over at Living the Scientific Life an update on the quest to go to Antarctica. Turns out you can “reassign” your vote. Also, if you haven’t voted, please do. Again: Voting ends at noon EDT on 30 September 2009, and the Official Quark Blogger will travel to Antarctica in February 2010 to blog about the…

A few months ago I pointed out that minorities don’t oppose gay marriage, blacks do. Specifically, there are sometimes assumptions that Hispanics are extremely religious Roman Catholics characterized by very socially conservative views. From what I have seen the data are of much more modest magnitude than what characterizations would suggest, but I thought it…

Chimps, humans, and allopatry

Thomas Mailmund is going ape over chimps & humans again, Patterns of autosomal divergence between the human and chimpanzee genomes support an allopatric model of speciation. A review of a paper of the same name.

Africans, disease, history and ecology

Interesting review paper on disease and Sub-Saharan African, Neglected Tropical Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa: Review of Their Prevalence, Distribution, and Disease Burden: The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are the most common conditions affecting the poorest 500 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and together produce a burden of disease that may be equivalent to…

Thirst, Korean vampires at work & play

I saw Thirst this weekend, a Korean film about a Catholic priest turned vampire. I was expecting strangeness, but it was really strange. The female lead, Kim Ok-bin gave a pretty good performance that I found very memorable. My friend who I watched the film with wondered if Asians produced really strange films, but my…

New “language gene”?

Anthropology.net points me to a new paper, Convergent genetic linkage and associations to language, speech and reading measures in families of probands with Specific Language Impairment: We analyzed genetic linkage and association of measures of language, speech and reading phenotypes to candidate regions in a single set of families ascertained for SLI. Sib-pair and family-based…

Uighuristan as the New World

From page 55 of Empires of the Silk Road: …Archaeology has shown that every location in Eurasia where Indo-European daughter languages have come to be spoken, modern humans had already settled there long beforehand, with the sole exception of the Tarim Basin, the final destination of the people who are known to us as the…

Pots, people & seeds

There’s a new paper in PLoS ONE, Craniometric Data Supports Demic Diffusion Model for the Spread of Agriculture into Europe. That’s fine. There are two extreme models about how farming might have spread in Europe. One model suggests that farmers replaced non-farmers genetically. Another model posits that there was no discernible movement of population, but…

Dienekes points me to a new paper, European Population Genetic Substructure: Further Definition of Ancestry Informative Markers for Distinguishing Among Diverse European Ethnic Groups. You’ve seen this song & dance before: Population substructure in Japan Population substructure of Mexican Mestizos European population substructure Genetic Map of East Asia The genetics of Fenno-Scandinavia Finns as European…